LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team’s game at Kansas on Saturday, Jan. 30 has been set for a 7 p.m. tipoff on ESPN. The game, which features the two winningest schools in NCAA Division I history, will be a part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The Wildcats will visit Lawrence, Kan., to play Coach Bill Self (pictured) and his Jayhawks in the annual league challenge between the Southeastern Conference and Big 12. The 2016 meeting will mark UK's first trip to Allen Fieldhouse since Jan. 7, 2006 and just its second since Dec. 9, 1989.
This marks the third season of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge, though this will be the first season where all 10 games of the challenge will be played on the same day.
Ten of the SEC's 14 teams will participate in this year's event against all 10 of the Big 12's institutions. Each of the 10 SEC teams participating in the 2016 games will also play in the 2017 event. The four SEC teams not participating will play each other in conference games the same day.
Eight of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will also be available via WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Kentucky and Kansas have met three times over the last four seasons, with Kentucky winning all three matchups. The Wildcats beat the Jayhawks twice during the 2011-12 season, including a 67-59 victory in the 2012 national championship game. UK defeated Kansas 72-40 in the 2014 Champions Classic matchup in Indianapolis.
Overall, UK leads the series 22-6. Kansas has won the last three meetings in Lawrence, but the Wildcats own a 7-4 series advantage at the Jayhawks' home.
2016 BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE MATCHUPS West Virginia at Florida –noon ET (ESPN) Vanderbilt at Texas – noon ET (ESPN2) Iowa State at Texas A&M – 2 p.m. ET (ESPN Tennessee at TCU – 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Ole Miss at Kansas State – 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU) Texas Tech at Arkansas – 4 p.m. ET (ESPNU) Oklahoma at LSU – 5 p.m. ET (ESPN) Georgia at Baylor – 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2) Kentucky at Kansas – 7 p.m. ET (ESPN) Oklahoma State at Auburn – 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2) * * *
LMU's Simmons Chosen AstroTurf SAC Player of the Week
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Lincoln Memorial senior guard Gerel Simmons (Accokeek, Md.) has been selected as the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday, Jan. 11.
Simmons (pictured) received the distinction after helping the 19th-ranked Railsplitters (12-2, 8-0 SAC) remain unbeaten in conference play with a pair of convincing SAC victories, as the Accokeek, Md. native averaged 21.5 points per game on 61.5 percent shooting from the field and a ridiculous 66.7 percent clip from three-point range. The highlight of Simmons' week came at Mars Hill on Wednesday night, as he unraveled 31 points on 11-of-13 shooting, including a 4-for-5 mark from deep, in a 120-84 victory. Behind that outstanding showing, the Railsplitters notched the second-most efficient shooting game in program history (67.7 percent) and piled up 120 points for just the 20th time ever (and the second time this season). He added a pair of assists to his stat ledger. On Saturday, Simmons posted 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist in Lincoln Memorial's 86-76 win over previously undefeated and No. 8 nationally-ranked Queens. Through 14 games, Simmons is ranked fifth in the South Atlantic Conference and leads LMU in scoring with 19.4 points per game. He is shooting 56.3 percent from the field (11th in SAC) and 50.8 percent (2nd in SAC) from three-point range. He has registered double-digit points in all but two of his appearances this season, while surpassing the 30-point threshold on two separate occasions. Simmons is the second Railsplitter to earn SAC Player of the Week honors, as Jalen Steele (Knoxville, Tenn.) received that distinction back on December 21. Simmons and the Railsplitters return to action on Wednesday, January 13, hosting the Anderson Trojans for an 8 p.m. SAC showdown at Tex Turner Arena.
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EKU's Nick Mayo Voted OVC Co-Freshman Of Week
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Nick Mayo (pictured) has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Monday, Jan. 11.
It is the fifth time this season Mayo has been voted the OVC Freshman of the Week. He shares this week’s honor with SIUE’s Carlos Anderson.
Mayo averaged 12.5 points-per-game, 6.5 rebounds-per-game and 1.0 assists-per-game last week.
The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine scored 15 points and matched career highs with seven rebounds and three blocks in EKU’s 88-69 victory over Southeast Missouri on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. He also had two assists and a steal in the win.
Mayo scored 10 points and pulled down six boards versus UT Martin on Thursday.
Mayo shot 58 percent (10-of-17) from the field during the week and now ranks sixth in the OVC in field goal percentage (58.2).
He is the first Colonel to be named the OVC Freshman of the Week five times in a season since Matt Witt in 2002-03.
Mayo and the Colonels travel to Eastern Illinois on Thursday, January 14, to face the Panthers at 9:00 p.m. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network.
Photos by Jamie H. Vaught (Self and Simmons)
Photo by EKU Athletics (Mayo)